Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

November 23, 2007 12:30 ET

The Government of Canada Stands up for the Canadian Reserve Force

Minister Blackburn engages Prince Edward Island in a national dialogue on reinstatement policies

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2007) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, visited Prince Edward Island today to pursue a national dialogue to ensure that reservists are successfully reintegrated into the Canadian work force.

"Our government is working to ensure that the men and women of the Canadian Reserve Force who serve our country are well supported when they return to civilian working life. They deserve it," said Minister Blackburn.

There are over 33,000 reservists living in hundreds of communities across Canada. Approximately 2,500 of these reservists are on active duty at any given time, and many are students. Most of the Canadian Reserve Force personnel are employed in full-time jobs elsewhere.

Minister Blackburn addressed members of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce and members of the naval reserve HMCS Queen Charlotte as part of his national dialogue tour with stakeholders. He also announced, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, that the Government of Canada will invest over $3.8 million in projects to help people on Prince Edward Island gain work experience, explore career options, and find work.

Canadian Reserve Force personnel play a vital role in protecting Canada's interests at home and abroad. Reservists have been called upon frequently to contribute to international peace, stability and human security throughout the world. They have also come to the aid of Canadians in times of crisis, such as the Winnipeg and Saguenay floods, and the ice storm of 1998. In doing so, reservists take time away from not only their jobs and careers but also from their families and friends.

"Let's do everything we can to ensure that no one who wears our military uniform should ever have to go directly from the front line to the unemployment line," added Minister Blackburn.

Minister Blackburn also congratulated the Government of Prince Edward Island for being one of the first provinces to adopt legislation giving reservists a guaranteed right to return to a job with their employer. Similar measures are now in force in Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The Government of Canada is engaging in a dialogue to hear the perspectives of other jurisdictions and interested stakeholders before moving forward on a plan to modernize reservist reinstatement policies. To date, the Minister has visited Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Office of Minister Blackburn
    Michael Winterburn